The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented background progressing to highly-selective universities. They do this by mobilizing the PhD community to share its academic expertise with state schools. Helen Parker and Adeel Shafi were chosen to be the first PhD researchers to pilot The Brilliant Club in Scotland, at Holyrood and Hyndland Secondary Schools.
"Build Your Own Spectrometer" is a hands-on course in which groups of students are given the necessary components to build a spectrometer. The course teaches, through a variety of lectures, workshops and
independent study exercises, how to assemble a fully functional spectrometer. It gives a unique insight into how an optical spectrometer works as well as how to design, build and optimise optical spectroscopy systems. This course not only provides bespoke training in the fundamental workings of a spectrometer and allow students to build their own working system, it also develops their skills in entrepreneurship and marketing as they have to find the place for their spectrometer within the current and future technology market as well as satisfy the ‘customer’ requirements.
Paul Cowling, Dawn Gillies and Clara Vergez developed a novel idea during their first year Grand Challenge course. It has subsequently seeded a Masters project and PhD between Engineering and Medicine to follow up on the concept.
TransMed was a student-driven cross-CDT competition held in Edinburgh in May 2016. More than 100 attendees enjoyed two days of science, socialising and inter-CDT cohort building. This has now become a regular addition to the CDT calendar, with other CDTs hosting the conference around the country.